Trade wars are ugly. History shows they can ruin relations between countries, cause recessions or even depressions, and in worst-case scenarios set the stage for wars.

That's why so many economists and other observers are so concerned about the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

At the very least, the standoff could lead to some rough economic sailing for the two countries. As the New York Times reports this week, the leadership of both nations seem to be digging in.

As recently as two weeks ago, there were indications of easing tensions and a move toward some kind of trade deal.

But what a difference a fortnight makes, with the United States raising tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports and more recently threatening to tax an additional $300 billion.

Many observers on the other side are equally concerned. Chinese entrepreneurs are concerned that they may have to radically revise the way they do business for the foreseeable future.

And in North Dakota we're all too familiar with what farmers are saying about the whole mess.

In the meantime President Trump holds firm, defending his tactics amidst the "squabble" between the two countries.

Fasten your seat belts.

[Source: New York Times, Fargo Forum]